Monster iCarPlay FM Transmitter | iLounge

Reviews

41

I've tried several FM Transmitters and have found that they are not all created equal. The belkin one is great in that it uses the entire FM spectrum, but doesn't remember the last station it was set to (you have to scroll through the memory for that.) C.Crane is good, but it's kinda big and cumbersome and really expensive. This one isn't that bad, I had to take my antenna off in order to use it because we have stations on all those 8 presets were I live. Monster has another one that is digital and has the full sprectrum of FM channels, but very expensive. I'd buy it if you can take of your car's antenna.

Posted by A. Craig in Sacramento, CA on February 9, 2005 at 11:19 AM (PDT)

42

Living in Northern VA, one of the most crowded places in America, I was skeptical whether or not this product would work well for me. I have to say that I'm thrilled with how it has performed. Sure, it doesn't have the power intensity of a 50,000 watt station but it still sounds very, very good. Using the device is simple - just press the red button to change iPod stations and then sync your radio with it.

Oh, I've found the music sounds best when you turn off the EQ all-together on your iPod. Just let it play "au natural".

Posted by SLMA in Northern VA on February 10, 2005 at 11:28 AM (PDT)

43

Definitely the best of all the FM transmitters I've used. The rundown... 1) ITRIP-A lot of static in the Dallas area. Pain to change stations on the ITRIP. 2) C. Crane- Decent reception. Too many variables to adjust the sound.. you'll have to adjust it on your IPOD, your radio, and lastly on the C. Crane. Lastly it's bulky and gets in the way. So-so product in my opinion. 3) Extreme Airplay- Awful static, could not find a single station that this worked on. Brought it back to the Apple Store and exchanged it for 4) ICarplay from Monster- Excellent reception, still some static but minimal especially compared to the ITRIP. User friendly as it charges your IPOD at the same time, easy to change stations. Downside you can only use it in your car. My recommendation is ICarplay all the way. 2nd choice C. Crane. Last choice Airplay. Just my two cents!

Posted by AudiMac on April 17, 2005 at 7:08 PM (PDT)

44

This is the best FM transmitter I have used so far. It doesn't fuzz out while deep inside the city streets of Atlanta. It is very easy to use and the sound quality is very very good. I would (and have) recommend this to ANYONE who wants to use their iPod in their car. It is just great!

Posted by LooseCannon68 in Atlanta, GA on May 16, 2005 at 4:45 AM (PDT)

45

I own a 4th Gen 40 gig iPod. I own a factory stocked Mazda Protégé 2002 which can't be fitted with a hardware iPod solution. I live in North Austin, TX and drive back and forth to the south side of Austin. I also frequently drive through Dallas, San Antonio, and Oklahoma all the time. I am a sound engineer with a good ear but I realize that FM transmission quality is bad so I already accepted this before deciding to purchase an FM Transmitter for my iPod. I own a nice audio setup at home and don't need an FM transmitter for my home audio plus I have the Lansing portable speaker set. I've owned and tried all of the following transmitters and hopefully my experiences will help someone make an informed purchasing decision. I owned the following FM Transmitters in the order of purchase:

1. Belkin Tune Cast -

The Good: Sound quality was good for FM. Cheaper
The Bad: The transmitter needed batteries. Power adaptor was really long and I couldn't place a cup in my cup holder because the Mazda Protégé's lighter is in front of the cup holder. You could only plug in one item for charging either your iPod or your FM transmitter. There is no power on for the FM transmitter.
The Ugly: I drive stick, no place to put my cup with my iPod holder and power adaptor taking up both cup slots. I often drive 6 hour trips so buying batteries all the time was getting expensive and with the frequency with which I change songs on my iPod the iPod's battery depleted quickly. I decided I needed the new Tune Cast II because it powered the FM Transmitter as well as the iPod


2. Belkin Tune Cast II -

The Good: None
The Bad: Same as above. The power adaptor didn't get smaller, doh! But the worst thing was the physical design. The cable for the tuner was perpendicular to the actually Tune Cast's oval unit. You have a cable to plug into the top of the iPod and a cable to plug-in the bottom. Not exactly convenient to handle. Since there is no power on for the FM transmitter you had to pray that it would come on when you started your iPod. Mine never did so you were left listening to the static a high volume. The wrestling with the Transmitter cable and hoping the thin powered on was too much stress while driving. There must have been a short or something, it was so bad that when I turned my iPod on it must have only worked 20% of the time. My girlfriend hated it. The FM memory presets never seemed to work everytime.
The Ugly: My girlfriend almost left me and I almost got in too many vehicle accidents fighting with the cable to work. Avoid at all costs!!!!

3. Airplay

The Good: Powered via iPod, great form factor, small and light.
The Bad: Bad sound quality or static quality. I even tried holding it next to my antennae. No dice.
The Ugly: The most frustrating part was that in theory this device rocks, but in actuality the sound just didn't even have a faint signal to the noise ratio.

4. iTrip

The Good: Small form factor, powered by iPod. You can download an FM frequency guide on their website for all cities in the US or Europe. Cheap cost
The Bad: Must Install audio files on iPod first via iTunes. Static - bad sound quality
The Ugly: By this point you can imagine I was just upset.

5. Monster iCarPlay FM Transmitter - My last purchase until I buy a new vehicle.

The Good: Love the color black and gray interior matches my car perfect, Power adaptor is small and recessed so I can use my cup holder and have it plugged in at the same time. One cable connects to the bottom of the iPod. Best FM sound quality so far of all I purchased. Longer cable so iPod can easily move around in the vehicle. Sturdy cables, not flimsy like the Belkin cable.
The Bad: pricey $80
The Ugly: So far so good, little pricey but after the hell I went through this thing actually works and that pleases me.

Posted by muco007 on June 1, 2005 at 10:59 AM (PDT)

46

The new car I purchased only had a CD player, so I needed to look at FM transmitters to replace my cassette adapter. I researched and read as much as I could for the past week. I narrowed the list down to the iCarPlay Plus and the AirPlay. I finally went with the iCarPlay Plus and haven't regretted the choice. Yes, it is more expensive than the others, but it has worked amazingly well for me. It could just be me, but the sound I am getting from it has been incredible. I am lucky enough to have some open frequencies in my area, but it even overpowered a Denver station when I was down there the other day.

Posted by soccerbyron on June 2, 2005 at 11:32 AM (PDT)

47

Bought this and it may as well be a brick. Poor FM reception, regardless of where I am in FL or what station I am tuned in to. In addition, the tiny clips for inserting and removing the dock connector are EXTREMELY stiff with little flex and difficult to use, even after several months of plugging and unplugging it! For shame Monster, what a piece of crap!

Posted by FeisterMeister on June 15, 2005 at 4:54 PM (PDT)

48

At first I was excited with this product, especially since it performed really well on a long roadtrip from Miami to DC. But recently it has caused my iPod to freeze up. So I stopped using it. Unfortunately, now my iPod freezes up all the time so I'm really mad.

Posted by ipodlocs on July 15, 2005 at 10:42 AM (PDT)

49

The newer model rocks!! It has a digital screen that show you the station and lets you pick more then 8! Its 80$ instead of 70$ but the quality of sound was better then radio on my car.

My antenna is in the back on the rear window so I wasn't having much luck with tunners. ( no tape player ). So a friend of mine had this older model and worked great in their car.

I got mine at Apple. 80$ and works like a dream. But it is a more up to date model. The station controller is the same size, but just has a screen and three programable buttons.
LOVE IT!!!!

Posted by tmkc on July 16, 2005 at 5:28 PM (PDT)

50

I had purchased XtremeMac AirPlay and tried using it for a week in New York City. It was useless. Luckily returning it was easy at Tekserve. Then, I picked up the Monster iCarPlay with 8 preset FM frequencies. It worked very well right away.
It sounds great. No hiss. Almost CD quality, and unlike CD players or changers, it doesn't skip over bumps. It is great and charges the iPod too. Wow, I am very pleased with this product, but the Lounge should give it a better rating REGARDLESS OF PRICE!!!

Posted by crazybanana on August 10, 2005 at 7:29 PM (PDT)

51

Note: This review is for the Monster iCarPlay Wireless PLUS.
I recently purchased a new 5G iPod and needed a new FM tranmitter. The Monster iCarPlay Wireless Plus is by no means worth 80 dollars. For an FM transmitter, it works okay in certain areas, but the cassette adapter iCarPlay by Monster has better sound quality and is a better value. If you don't have a tape deck in your car, you're better off with a different FM transmitter like the Kensington Digital transmitter.

Posted by sergeantpress371029 on February 24, 2006 at 1:37 PM (PDT)

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